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  • The gripper arm – the central tool for the high-precision alignment of space components – consists of a static and a moving part.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen has been developing and building laser systems for use in space for several years. At the same time, the Aachen scientists are also researching technologies for metallic 3D printing. Using the Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF) process, Fraunhofer ILT – along with the Chair for Digital Additive Production DAP – has developed and set up a new precision gripper arm made of metal powder for the first time: a novelty for the assembly of space components in clean rooms. The gripper arm is lighter than its predecessor and yet stable enough to mount and adjust heavier laser optics with ultra-precision.

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  • Artificial Intelligence in Production

    Press Release / August 25, 2021

    Machine learning allows complex data from different sensors to be understood and used for process control.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    At the second “AI for Laser Technology Conference” on September 28 and 29, 2021, participants will discuss how artificial intelligence is currently being applied in laser materials processing. Researchers and plant engineers, software developers and machine builders will meet here to exchange ideas. In addition to the technical presentations, the laboratories at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be opened for virtual tours. Due to current regulations, the conference will take place online.

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  • Save the Date! AKL’22 from May 4 to 6, 2022

    Press Release / August 18, 2021

    AKL'22 – the comprehensive insight into the world of laser technology at the intersection of business and science.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    Networking at its best – live on site! The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT invites the laser community to the 13th International Laser Technology Congress AKL from May 4 to 6, 2022. Laser manufacturers and users from various industries, experienced experts and newcomers, strategists and practitioners can catch up on the latest developments in the field of applied laser technology in production at AKL'22. Over three conference days, 87 presentations will bring participants up to date on the latest technology and give them insight into current research topics for tomorrow's production solutions. Along with the exhibition accompanying the conference and the live demonstrations at Fraunhofer ILT, the AKL has established itself as the central networking platform for the laser community.

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  • Optical system of a multiscanner LB-PBF system. Corresponding systems are to be monitored as part of the project.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT has received an award for decades of development in the field of additive manufacturing: The Aachen-based institute won a competition conducted by ASTM International and is now working on a project towards standardization of machine condition monitoring in laser beam powder bed fusion (LB-PBF). It is focusing on selecting and qualifying imaging sensor technology that can be used to specifically monitor the condition of LB-PBF systems. Finally, the institute will derive cost-reducing recommendations for end users from these data.

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  • USP lasers with kW power are being developed in the Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence CAPS for precise, scalable and digitally controllable material processing.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    The LASER World of PHOTONICS Industry Days took place from June 21 to 24, 2021. With this online event, Messe München – organizer of the world's largest trade show for applied laser technology and photonics – offered its community a high-quality program including market overviews, trend analyses and panel discussions. Industrial laser technology today and tomorrow was one focus of the program.

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  • A hybrid circuit board pro-duced as part of the BMWi-funded CLAPE project. It combines several functions in one component.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT, in collaboration with project partners, have succeeded in developing a novel industrial manufacturing process, one that makes it possible to use low-cost FR4 circuit board substrates in power electronics, for example in electric motors. Compared to conventional power electronics made of ceramics, the so-called hybrid printed circuit boards are not only much more versatile, but also up to 20 times cheaper. This could close a gap in the market in the medium term and, thus, make an important contribution to the mobility of the future.

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  • Controlling 100 lasers automatically via the cloud

    Press Release / June 22, 2021

    Kubernetes can be used to control freely scalable production systems.
    © Dr. Martin Riedel / Internet of Production.

    In the Cluster of Excellence “Internet of Production” (IoP), 200 scientists at RWTH Aachen University in cooperation with Fraunhofer ILT have set up a data center for controlling and monitoring industrial processes. The concept for this is based on a project for controlling laser systems developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT and uses the open source software Kubernetes. A corresponding system has been running successfully at the institute for two years, and with it the institute can automatically and remotely install the software for new lasers in just a few minutes.

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  • Starting in summer 2021, laser processes for battery production will be investigated at Fraunhofer ILT in a dedicated battery center. In the picture: a roll-to-roll plant.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    Ultrafast lasers have become a standard manufacturing tool for the display industry, with even more and even larger applications coming in the next few years. The technology and processes needed for these new applications were presented at the 6th “UKP-Workshop: Ultrafast Laser Technology”, held by the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen on April 21 and 22, 2021. Their spectrum ranged from ultra-powerful beam sources to processes that can be used to enlarge the surface of a metal electrode, for the generation of hydrogen, a thousand times.

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  • As part of the AiF project MikroPuls, Fraunhofer ILT is developing laser processes for the efficient contacting of battery cells (pictured: laser-welded copper connectors on cylindrical cells).
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    Setting up high-performance production centers for battery cells is high on the current agenda of the automotive industry. The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen is proactively working towards this goal: In the BMBF project “HoLiB” and the IGF project “MikroPuls”, for example, scientists from Aachen are investigating how laser technology can be used to economically contact and join dissimilar materials.

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  • In the “MobDi” project, disinfection robots are being developed for use both in buildings (left side) and in transportation (right side).
    © Fraunhofer IPA, Rainer Bez (image) / Fraunhofer IMW, Stefanie Irrler (illustration).

    Service robots can help ensure that buildings and means of transport are cleaned and disinfected regularly and with consistently high quality. Since October 2020, twelve institutions of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft have been working on the development of new technologies for this field of application. Led by Fraunhofer IPA, the partners are pooling their expertise in the “Mobile Disinfection" (MobDi) research project to contribute to a safe “New Normal” in times of pandemic. The project is part of the »Fraunhofer vs. Corona« action program.

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